On display in the Rheged Centre, as part of The Art of Remembering exhibition, was a collection of work entitled Memory Vessels. The ceramics and meticulously constructed model ships are the work of the artist Mark Gibbs.
To create the ceramics, Mark used a western variation of an ancient Japanese technique called Raku. Removing the pot from the kiln whilst still at an incredibly high temperature, it is then placed into a reduction chamber – which is normally a metal tin filled with combustible materials such as sawdust or straw – which creates a blackened carbonised look on the surface of the ceramic.
The intricately detailed battleships are modelled on real vessels with the largest being H.M.S. Dreadnought. This revolutionary craft changed the face of naval warfare instantly casting existing ships into obsolescence.
The visual imagery of smoke and fire with the scorched surface of the finished pot is designed to stir images of the violent explosions during battles at sea.
The ceramic pieces feature designs inspired by Dazzle Camouflage which is a striking geometric pattern used on ships during the First World War.